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From Topless Calendars to Pink Boots

From Topless Calendars to Pink Boots

Formed Architect’s Tina Patel reminisces about the changes in how female architects have been percieved over the past few decades – as featured in Qandor’s Q Magazine.

Even in 2020, the reality is that construction is a man’s world. This year, I will have been part of that industry for 20 years. Has much changed in that time? A little, yes. A lot more has been hidden through the political correctness brigade – probably not very PC for me to say, but this is my candid view.

Does that mean people are less sexist? Not really. The subconscious biases still exist. But should you let that faze you? My approach has always remained: do a good job and the rest is irrelevant.

Does that mean I have had to work harder or do more to prove my worth? Yes, without a doubt. But that is what I signed up for when I chose to be part of this very male dominated industry. In an ideal world I wouldn’t have to, but that is the reality and believe it is helpful to not be blind to it.

In days gone by, it would not be uncommon to walk into site offices for blue chip landowners and be met with the sight of a topless female calendar on the wall.

The site foreman would hurriedly ask the ‘lads’ to hide it – and my response was and would still be: “Seriously, that doesn’t offend me (not to say it doesn’t others, and I can understand that), I’ve seen naked women, heck, I live in a woman’s body, if that means you are able to be more productive or makes you feel better leave it up there – don’t remove it for my benefit.”